Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall, Y'all Giveaway!

Jewelry again? Shocking, I know.

In case you haven't heard, Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a carnival this week called the Fall Y'alll Bloggy Giveaway.

I will give away three (3) items to three (3) different winners. I will include international readers in the giveaway. Post your comment, indicating which item you would like to win (I'll figure out the logistics of how to choose three winners later). If you'd like to sign up for all three, that's fine; I'd just hate for someone to win an item they don't particularly care for. And please, please make sure that you leave me a way to contact you -- if you don't have a blog, please leave me your email in case you win.

I will leave comments open through Saturday, November 3rd until noonish. Then I'll use a random number generator to pick the three winners. Winners will be notified by email on Saturday afternoon.

And now for the goodies!

First up is a pair of sterling silver earrings -- pink lampworked (handmade glass) beads with white dots, flanked by a pair 6mm opaque pink Swarovski crystal bicones, with a trio of dangling 4mm clear Swarovski bicones. They're a party on your ears! Earrings measure 2" and are a retail value of $20.

Next is a Christmas necklace. The pendant is a lampworked Christmas tree bead, 1" long (incl. crystal), green with red garland and white ornaments, topped with a 6mm clear Swarovski crystal bicone. The necklace is 16" of festively colored seed beads with a 2" extension chain and lobster claw clasp. Retail value $25.

Finally, I have a cross necklace as the centerpiece of a beautiful earthtone necklace of jasper, garnet, serpentine, Czech glass, wood, and a touch of hematite. Necklace is 17" with 2" extension chain and lobster claw clasp. Cross dangle is 1.5" below necklace.

I do make custom beaded and lampworked jewelry and have a website coming soon. Keep me in mind for Christmas gifts or for your own wishlist! I have several other items for sale left from a previous giveaway in the post titled "Lisa's Beading Treasures." All except #2 and #9 are available for sale. Email me at lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com if you would like to purchase anything.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Weekend in the Life of a High School Senior

My older son isn't particularly social -- doesn't run around with friends a lot or put a lot of miles on his car -- but his weekend schedule would make me check into a hospital for fatigue! He's in marching band, which means the fall semester is a pretty hectic time for him. He plays percussion -- tenors -- those five drums that weigh about 40 lb. Coolest thing in the band in my opinion, but how those kids carry them around is beyond me. There are 3 tenors in the band this year, and two of them are girls. If I were wearing a hat, I'd take it off to all of them.

This weekend was typical. Not heavy, not light... typical.

Friday: school all day. Away game in the evening. Somehow they lost his drums in the course of the evening, so Bradley got home around 1:30am (an hour later than anyone else).

Saturday: marching contest. He had to be at school at 7:30am, and the contest was out of town. He wasn't home until after midnight.

Sunday: work from 2 - 6:30pm. At 7:30, he had an info session with Rice University, where he went with his dad. Hopefully he'll be home by 9pm so he can unwind a little.

And this is his break from school. Yay.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Congratulations to the Contest Winners!

Congratulations to the two contest winners! Melissa May and Meredith each get to choose a set. Enjoy, ladies!

And I will now open up orders for the other items. Meredith has already emailed to choose #2. I haven't heard from Melissa May yet -- her comment also called out #2, which I can re-make if needed, although she also mentioned the fish.

So for all other items, if anyone cares to buy them, you're welcome to do so. Again, my email is lisalisalisa [at] gmail (dot) com.

Even if I make #2 twice for the contest winners, I have enough beads to make it at least twice more. First two emails in my inbox may buy it.

Thank you so much to everyone for the encouraging comments. I hope to have a web site up to sell my jewelry in the next few days as well, although there's no content there yet.

I will also give away another piece or two (different than those you've already seen) in the Fall Y'all giveaway next week, so come back for that.

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I've been Katina'ed!

If you read BooMama then you probably know what a "Hair Wizard" is. Well, my Hair Wizard is named Katina. She moved from Austin to Colorado almost two years ago, but she still comes back here for her faithful clients here -- and I still won't let anyone else touch my hair.

I used to never be a color girl, but Katina is amazing with color, and I've always wanted to be a redhead (Cindy , you'd better appreciate that gorgeous hair you have!), so several months ago I decided to take the plunge and turn my mousy brown into lush red.

This past time, Katina and I got a little more, um, adventurous. Instead of using the regular colors, she chose a couple of colors from the bottom band, the one marked "Intense." And boy, is it ever!

I tried to get a pic of how bad my roots really were before Katina came back this last time, but unfortunately none of them came out. It doesn't look like I have roots in the pics I took, and in the pics my son took, he cut me off at the roots in every one. Silly boy. So here I am after my last cut, with the more tame red, holding my birthday flowers from my thoughtful seester:

And here I am a couple of days after my wild and crazy red:

The first picture is indoors while the second is outdoors, so you have to take that into account. And yes, my skin is really about as pale as a vampire's (thanks, Mom!). And the hair color is strangely unnatural, yet I like it.

Living in Austin will do odd things to a person.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fall, Glorious Fall!

Every few days, they would tease me again. And like a fool, I'd believe. Every time. And every time, I was let down. Oh, the agony!

After a half dozen iterations, I finally stopped believing. You'd think I would catch on faster than that. You'd think I was smarter. But apparently you'd be wrong.

Toward the end of last week, my dear hubby said it again: "They say a cold front's coming through in a few days."

"No it's not!" I retorted. "They've been claiming that ALL MONTH. Every few days they say something about a cold front. There has been no front. It's stinkin' 85 degrees outside in October! Hello? I ordered AUTUMN!"

Not that I have any particular feelings on the topic. Not that I'm tired of the heat. (Not that I really have anything to complain about since this has been the mildest summer in memory in central Texas...)

But still, I'm ready for fall. And let me tell you, the past couple of days have been bee-yoo-tee-full. Gorgeous during the day and even chilly at night! Who'd've thunk it? Driving with the top down during the day and up at night? Crazy talk!

Hello, autumn. I've missed you. You know how I love your cool breezes and (if you can manage it in this part of the world) leaf changes. I'll admit, it's a shame the days get shorter when you arrive. But your relief from the heat makes it all worthwhile, baby. XXOOXX

If anyone wanted to place an order...

I've had several inquiries... so although I don't want to be presumptuous, I thought I should say something "official" about ordering from me.

First of all, I will not take orders for the 12 items in the giveaway until after BooMama announces winners -- that's only fair. Contest winners get first choice, and then I will sell the other items. In cases where I can make multiples, I will sell multiples. And yes, I can make multiples of #2. =)

My email and my PayPal i.d. are the same -- lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com . Use that email for ordering after the contest winners are announced.

If anyone is interested in custom orders for things for themselves or Christmas gifts or whatever, I can certainly accommodate those. Please email me and we'll talk. If you're buying things outside the giveaway, you don't need to wait until it's closed to email me.

This week has been so fun, y'all. Thank you so much for saying such nice things about my jewelry. Lots of people in Austin can make jewelry, so it's pretty easy to feel like nothing special around here. It's really lovely to be told you're talented, especially after you're laid off.

I owe y'all more than you know.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Latest lampwork beads

Now, I know y'all think beads are as important as I do. That's why I made these yesterday. Because I was thinking of y'all. And because I do so love my torch.

See, I knew y'all would want some fun swirly beads and some fun Christmas tree beads. Just think of the great necklace you could make with one of those as the pendant and some cute little beads to go with it -- like the fish necklace, kinda, only with festive Christmas colors.

And THIS is what happens when you put your nifty clear beads in acid to etch the shiny off them. They come out all frosty and wintry. How fun is that? Now you put those with some Swarovski clear crystals in a cute little necklace or bracelet (I'm totally stealing an idea from my friend Kami here, but she knows cuz I told her I was going to -- and she got the idea from our friend Lisa, who got it from somewhere else).

But seriously, how much fun is that? I just loved it. I'll have to make a few dozen more. And maybe some more Christmas trees if y'all like 'em.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lisa's Beading Treasures

Now, I know y'all came here looking for BooMama's necklace that she posted a picture of... and that exact item isn't here. But don't go away just yet!

These are the pieces I made specifically for the BooMama blog giveaway. Many of them can be made again, but a few cannot (either I don't have the beads, or in one case, the focal bead is unique). In some cases, I'll use the "first come first served" rule; in others I'll be able to accommodate more than one person with the same design. Note that before now I have rarely made more than one item of the same design (I've done it probably twice, and in one case it was for identical twins). I will always do a custom order; email me and we'll talk. My email is lisalisalisa (at) gmail [dot] com.

In the case of BooMama's necklace, she asked for something specific, and I was able to make it on my torch (there are pics of the beads I've made in another post, but you'll find they're quite different than that necklace in general). This batch of jewelry is not made out of beads I've made -- they're gemstones and Czech glass, mostly -- but that can be accomplished. Have your people call my people. We'll talk.

General info about this jewelry:
I always identify the gemstones if I know what they are -- in a couple of cases below, they weren't identified when I bought them, so I don't know (I just bought 'em cuz they were pretty). I'll also let you know if anything is NOT sterling silver. That's true in a couple of cases with the larger spacer beads -- with silver prices through the roof, I only have them in sterling plated right now. But for the most part, what you see here is all sterling. All ear wires are French type ear wires in sterling.

I will price out the necklaces and earrings separately, but clearly they are made in sets. I'd prefer they find a happy home together for that reason, but, y'know, whatever. For the giveaway, I will give them away as a set if that's what you choose as your favorite (shipping included, of course).

AB = aurora borealis coating, which is used on lots of beads to give them a colorful shimmer. This is a standard shorthand which I will use a couple of times in the descriptions.

Measurements for earrings are given from the top of the ear wire to the bottom of the earring. Necklace measurements are what they will measure around your neck.

I mention my stringing wire in another blog post, but it's 49 strand stainless steel, the best I've ever found -- very strong, very flexible. It's possible to break it, but you have to work at it. Don't try -- for your happiness and mine. =)

I want you to be happy with your purchase (or winning). If you're not satisfied, email me and we'll work it out. I have confidence we can do that. We're all grownups here.

Disclaimers: neither of my beautiful models has a gray mark anywhere on her face or neck. There is a spot on the optics inside my camera that has not yet been cleaned, and I simply don't have the time or expertise to PhotoShop it out. I also should not have used the portrait setting on my camera since it wouldn't allow me to keep both the model and the jewelry in perfect focus. Bad photographer!

Thanks so much to my gorgeous models -- Amazing Katie (a friend of my son's), and Jennifer (a friend of mine). You may feel free to guess which one is a teenager and which one has just exited her 20s... they just don't look that far apart.

Enough of the chitchat! Where's the good stuff??

Here it is!

#1... This little beauty is in honor of BooMama and her beloved Mississippi State (and my own Fightin' Texas Aggies). Glowing mother of pearl mixes with faceted garnets, with a chunky garnet centerpiece flanked by Czech glass. It is finished with a sterling silver adjustable toggle clasp. Matches BooMama's sassy shoes! Necklace is adjustable between 17.75" and 18.25"; pendant hangs 1.25". Earrings are 1.75" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.

#2... The pictures don't do justice to the gold-flecked brown stones in this necklace! Paired with olivine Czech glass and brown AB crystals, this is a great earth-tone set to enjoy with all your fall fashions. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 18.25" long. Earrings are 2.25" long. Necklace: $30. Earrings: $15. Set: $40.

#3... I'm a purple girl, so of course there's a purple set. This one has three large purple focal stones plus several sugalite (veined purple and white stones) and lots of great lavender cats eye to complete the effect. The spacer beads in this necklace are sterling plated. Dangles in the earrings are Swarovski crystals (the world's finest). Necklace is finished with a sterling hook and eye clasp and is 19" long with a 1.5" long pendant. Earrings are 2" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $20. Set: $50.

#4... The stunning turquoise focal stone in this piece is actually a Mexican opal (ask me about special care instructions for this if you win or buy it). It is set off by picture jasper and crystals (the large ones are Swarovski). With its hook and eye clasp and chain, it is adjustable from 16" to 18" with a lovely crystal dangle in the back. Pendant is a 2" drop. Earrings are 1.5" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.

#5... This versatile piece can take you from serious daytime wear to a fun evening out with your friends or your favorite guy. The twisted hematite ovals and coin-shaped shells (half mother of pearl and half black lip shell) will match any color. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 18". Earrings are 1.75" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.

#6... Graphic feldspar was a new stone for me, and I couldn't wait to work with it. The peachy pinks combine beautifully with cherry quartz to create a lovely feminine set that's not too dainty. Swarovski crystals enhance the pendant and add a little sparkle. The spacer beads in this necklace are sterling plated. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver adjustable toggle clasp. Necklace is adjustable between 17.5" and 18.5"; pendant is 1.75" long including the crystals. Earrings are 1.75" long. Necklace: $35. Earrings: $15. Set: $45.

#7... Plenty of faceted Czech glass in olivine and clear combine with blue AB glass beads for a necklace with a lot of sparkle and pizzazz. It is finished with a sterling silver toggle and is 17.5" long. $25.

#8... Millefiori is Italian for "thousand flowers" and is the style of glass that includes flowers in its design. It's always been a favorite of mine, and I have a large collection of it. This necklace also has several pillow-shaped cats eye beads for contrast and interest. It is finished with a hook and eye clasp and chain with a purple flower dangle to match the earrings. Necklace is adjustable between 17.5" and 19.5"; pendant is a 5/8" drop. Earrings are 2" long. Necklace: $25. Earrings: $15. Set: $35.

Jake knows more about jewelry than most dogs. And he loves anyone that will pet him.

#9... Serpentine was another recent discovery for me, and like feldspar, I couldn't wait to design with it. It's set off beautifully by rose quartz, with crystal spacers. The earrings are a double drop dangle using both stones. Necklace is finished with a sterling silver adjustable toggle clasp and is adjustable between 17.25" and 18". Pendant is a 1.5" drop. Earrings are 2.5" long. Necklace: $25. Earrings: $15. Set: $35

Jake REALLY loves the serpentine. Or the attention.

#10... This necklace is like a good stew: it has a little bit of everything. Start with a good piece of jasper, throw in several pieces of magnesite, some aragonite, sprinkle in amber, mahogony obsidian, tiger iron and amber to taste, and finish off with wooden beads and an adjustable sterling silver clasp. Deeeeelicious! Necklace is adjustable between 17.5" and 18.5"; pendant is a 1.75" drop. $30.

#11... This little guy is truly one of a kind. A lampworking artist in Austin (not me) created this fish bead, and I bought it from her months ago, along with several other treasures. I hope the pictures capture the fun this guy wants to have as he dangles around your neck! His blue Marty Feldman eyes and puckered orange lips are just too cute for words. Necklace is 16.5" and is finished with a rope style sterling silver toggle clasp. Fish is a 1" drop. $25.

#12... Even if you don't remember the '20s you'll feel like a flapper with this necklace! It's 39.5" of sparkly fun, chock full of faceted Czech glass beads. You can wear it long or squeeeeeeeeeze it over your head and wear it doubled over (I should have made it just a little longer). I've had several people try it, and it's fit over everyone's head, but it does make some people nervous. If you know your head is larger than average, you might not count on wearing it doubled... and alas, I do not have the beads to re-make this (although I might be motivated to repurchase). A great necklace, and truth be told, one I originally intended to put in my own collection. $30.

You've made it allllllll the way to the end... that's all I have for you today! If you guys want, I can post a pic or 8 of my bead collection so you can see what your choices would be if you wanted to make a custom order. I actually took a picture of the whole thing tonight, but you can't see diddly in a single picture; I'd have to break it up into at least 6-8 pictures in order to see any detail at all.
Anyway, if you got here from BooMama's site, you know the rules. Do your thang.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?